Lota Title5.jpg
 Wyatt Johnson cheers on Lota Ward, 8, in the 50 mile Buffalo Run on Antelope Island on Saturday, March 21, 2015, a week and a half before Ward's fourth surgery for a teratoma brain tumor. Lota finished 33 miles before stopping.

Wyatt Johnson cheers on Lota Ward, 8, in the 50 mile Buffalo Run on Antelope Island on Saturday, March 21, 2015, a week and a half before Ward's fourth surgery for a teratoma brain tumor. Lota finished 33 miles before stopping.

 Lota Ward, 8, gets new socks and shoes at mile 28 of the 50 mile Buffalo Run on Antelope Island on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Ward's full name is Lotatoa, which means "our warrior" in his mother's native Samoan language. Ward is also battling a teratoma brain tumor.

Lota Ward, 8, gets new socks and shoes at mile 28 of the 50 mile Buffalo Run on Antelope Island on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Ward's full name is Lotatoa, which means "our warrior" in his mother's native Samoan language. Ward is also battling a teratoma brain tumor.

 Eight-year-olds typically aren't allowed to run the 50 mile Buffalo Run, but race organizers made an exception for Lota Ward and even let him start the race a couple hours early. Training has given him something positive to focus on as he prepares for his fourth surgery for a teratoma brain tumor. Lota finished 33 of the 50 miles.

Eight-year-olds typically aren't allowed to run the 50 mile Buffalo Run, but race organizers made an exception for Lota Ward and even let him start the race a couple hours early. Training has given him something positive to focus on as he prepares for his fourth surgery for a teratoma brain tumor. Lota finished 33 of the 50 miles.

 Dr. John Kestle, M.D., neurosurgeon, tells Rowena and Keith Ward that he was not able to get all of the tumor out of their son Lota's brain, as Lota recovers from his fourth brain surgery at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Dr. John Kestle, M.D., neurosurgeon, tells Rowena and Keith Ward that he was not able to get all of the tumor out of their son Lota's brain, as Lota recovers from his fourth brain surgery at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

 Rowena Ward talks to her son Lota Ward as he slowly wakes up after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma brain tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015. Lota had trouble opening his eyes after surgery, so it took a little while for his parents, nurses and doctors to realize he was actually awake, even though his eyes were still closed.

Rowena Ward talks to her son Lota Ward as he slowly wakes up after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma brain tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015. Lota had trouble opening his eyes after surgery, so it took a little while for his parents, nurses and doctors to realize he was actually awake, even though his eyes were still closed.

 Lota Ward is prepped for an MRI to see how he's doing after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Lota Ward is prepped for an MRI to see how he's doing after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

 Lota Ward is prepped for an MRI after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

Lota Ward is prepped for an MRI after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 2, 2015.

 Rowena Ward and her son Lota mark on a map where people have run in honor of Lota while he recovers from his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 10, 2015. Lota strains to see the map, as the surgery effected Lota's vision and his ability to lift his eyes.

Rowena Ward and her son Lota mark on a map where people have run in honor of Lota while he recovers from his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 10, 2015. Lota strains to see the map, as the surgery effected Lota's vision and his ability to lift his eyes.

 Lota Ward uses a walker to stand and look out the window of his hospital room while recovering from his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. For a while after the surgery, Lota struggled to lift his eyes to look up, so he was often seen lifting his whole head up and back to see straight ahead.

Lota Ward uses a walker to stand and look out the window of his hospital room while recovering from his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. For a while after the surgery, Lota struggled to lift his eyes to look up, so he was often seen lifting his whole head up and back to see straight ahead.

 Kristen Gallup, occupational therapist, helps Lota Ward crawl after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 10, 2015. Lota lost a lot of strength on the left side of his body from the surgery. Learning to crawl helps rebuild that strength as well as hand-eye coordination. He misses running.

Kristen Gallup, occupational therapist, helps Lota Ward crawl after his fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor at Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City on Friday, April 10, 2015. Lota lost a lot of strength on the left side of his body from the surgery. Learning to crawl helps rebuild that strength as well as hand-eye coordination. He misses running.

 Lota Ward hugs his dad Keith before Keith leaves for a graveyard shift as his mom Rowena rests at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Everyone is tired.

Lota Ward hugs his dad Keith before Keith leaves for a graveyard shift as his mom Rowena rests at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Everyone is tired.

 Lota keeps a list of goals on his bedroom door, which include kicking "Bob the Bully" (his brain tumor) in the butt. 

Lota keeps a list of goals on his bedroom door, which include kicking "Bob the Bully" (his brain tumor) in the butt. 

 Lota Ward dumps a bucket of balls over his head at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Once the balls are on the floor, he does situps and throws them back in the bucket, one by one, to strengthen his core.

Lota Ward dumps a bucket of balls over his head at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Once the balls are on the floor, he does situps and throws them back in the bucket, one by one, to strengthen his core.

 A ball with letters on it swings back and forth over Lota Ward as he tries to focus on the moving letters to improve his eye sight at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. His fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor impaired his left eye's ability to converge, track and focus.

A ball with letters on it swings back and forth over Lota Ward as he tries to focus on the moving letters to improve his eye sight at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. His fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor impaired his left eye's ability to converge, track and focus.

 A ball with letters on it swings back and forth over Lota Ward as he tries to focus on the moving letters to improve his eye sight at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. His fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor impaired his left eye's ability to converge, track and focus.

A ball with letters on it swings back and forth over Lota Ward as he tries to focus on the moving letters to improve his eye sight at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. His fourth brain surgery for a teratoma tumor impaired his left eye's ability to converge, track and focus.

 Lota Ward carries a box of Christmas gifts to Primary Children's Hospital on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. Lota and his siblings decided they wanted to donate all of their gifts instead of receiving any on Christmas. They also collected gifts to donate from the community.

Lota Ward carries a box of Christmas gifts to Primary Children's Hospital on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. Lota and his siblings decided they wanted to donate all of their gifts instead of receiving any on Christmas. They also collected gifts to donate from the community.

 Tifa Ward and Lota Ward play the game Hedbanz after school at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

Tifa Ward and Lota Ward play the game Hedbanz after school at home in Layton on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

 Lota Ward trains for the upcoming Salt Lake City Marathon by doing squats while his mother Rowena helps his siblings Sefa and Tifa do homeschool work at the Ogden Athletic Club in Ogden on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Lota, who is the official race starter, will be running the marathon as a relay with Team RWB, or Team Red, White and Blue. 

Lota Ward trains for the upcoming Salt Lake City Marathon by doing squats while his mother Rowena helps his siblings Sefa and Tifa do homeschool work at the Ogden Athletic Club in Ogden on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Lota, who is the official race starter, will be running the marathon as a relay with Team RWB, or Team Red, White and Blue. 

 Lota Ward, 10, approaches the finish line of the Salt Lake City Marathon with Team RWB in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Lota is still battling a teratoma brain tumor, but has come a long way in recovery since his fourth brain surgery two years ago, which left him learning to crawl, stand and walk again.

Lota Ward, 10, approaches the finish line of the Salt Lake City Marathon with Team RWB in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Lota is still battling a teratoma brain tumor, but has come a long way in recovery since his fourth brain surgery two years ago, which left him learning to crawl, stand and walk again.